Stubb's BBQ Black Eyed Peas

Stubb's BBQ  Restaurant Recipe

1 pound dried black eyed peas
1/2 pound thick sliced smoked bacon, cut into 1/4 inch wide pieces
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
2 ribs celery, cut into small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil and wine vinegar (optional)

Pick through the beans to discard any Pebbles or other debris. Rinse the beans well. Soak in plenty of water to cover for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Drain the beans and set aside.

In a heavy pot, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it browns, about 10 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften but still have some crispness, about 5 minutes. Scoop out half the mixture and set aside.

 Add the beans to the remaining vegetables in the pot add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so the beans slowly simmer. Do not cover the pot. Start testing after 20 minutes, though they might take as long as 1 hour. When the beans start to feel soft, stir in the salt and pepper. Stir the beans occasionally as they cook. They're done with just tender but not mushy.

 Ladle the beans, with some of the liquid, into bowls or cups. Spin on some of the reserved bacon mixture (reheat if necessary in a skillet or microwave.) for extra flavor, drizzle with olive oil and a splash of vinegar to taste.